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Persistent terror threat increasing Indonesian public insecurity

Publication Date : 17-09-2012


A survey has found that the majority of Indonesians feel insecure because of growing religious violence and acts of terrorism.

The survey, by the Indonesian Survey Circle (LSI) found that in the past nine months, the number of respondents saying that they lived in a secure environment had reduced across the country.

LSI found in January this year that 84.1 per cent of respondents said they lived in a secure environment. The figure had since dropped to 56.2 per cent.

"The main reasons are the terrorist attacks that occurred recently as well as religious violence and rampant thuggery," LSI researcher Hanggoro Doso Pamungkas said.

The survey result showed that terrorism topped the list of sources of public insecurity, with 50.87 per cent of 1,200 respondents citing the threat of terrorism.

More than 18 per cent said that religious violence had given them reason to feel insecure. Thuggery came third with 18.82 per cent then regular crime with 9.76 per cent.

A string of shootings in late August targeting the police in Surakarta, Central Java, claimed the life of a police officer on night duty at a small post. The ensuing manhunt for the perpetrators ended in a fatal shootout that left a member of the police's Densus 88 counterterrorism unit and two young men whom the National Police chief later alleged belonged to a new terrorist group, dead. A third suspected terrorist was arrested.

Early in September an incident in Tambora, West Jakarta, where residents thought a house was on fire only to find out later that the smoke was caused by bomb-making ingredients, and an explosion at an alleged terrorist bomb-making facility in Depok, saw the police carry out a massive operation

LSI also found that 50.65 per cent of the respondents were not satisfied with how the police handle terrorism.

The survey showed that 66.86 per cent of the respondents were pessimistic that the police could eradicate terrorism from the country.

"Around 86.64 per cent of the respondents were concerned that terrorist attacks would still happen in the future," Pamungkas of LSI said.

He also said 84.95 per cent of respondents believed that some terrorist-linked incidents like bomb blasts in Tambora and Depok were caused by police negligence and 46.82 per cent thought that the National Intelligence Agency failed to perform its job.

Indonesian Police Watch chairman Neta S. Pane said that he could understand if the public was not satisfied with the performance from the police.

"Since the first Bali bombing in 2002, terror attacks continue to reoccur and come from the same terrorist network," he said.

According to Pane, the police have not done a good job in handling terrorism because they failed to coordinate with other institutions like BIN, Densus 88 and the National Counterterrorism Agency.

Pane also said that police only used terrorism as a ruse to get funding from abroad.

"A large amount of funds have gone to the coffers of the National Police since the first Bali bombing," he said.

Pane also said the National Police also suffered from credibility problems, especially with a number of their senior officials being named graft suspects.

Pane said that the police were capable of rooting out the terrorist network in the country given the amount of information in their possession.

He added that the police only needed to build a good rapport with the public.


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